When you sit in a room with Simone Felice you can hear a subtle metallic ticking noise. If you hunt for the source of the sound you’ll find a scar bisecting the entire length of his chest, a visceral reminder of the open-heart surgery he was forced to undergo in the summer of 2010 after a childhood congenital defect brought him to the brink of death. Felice’s heart is his metronome, his divining rod, and the life source of his self-titled solo debut, set for release on April 2nd, 2012 via Reveal Records.
Former drummer, writer and vocalist of Catskill Mountain troubadours The Felice Brothers, and the creator of folk-soul outfit The Duke & The King, Simone Felice steps into the spotlight to begin his journey as a lone artist, bearing the fruits of a lifetime of song-writing. Largely self-produced with help from Ben Lovett (Mumford & Sons), the album was recorded in deeply resonant places, settings that were as haunted in their rafters as Felice felt in his bones: a barn near his house in the woods, an old church in London, an abandoned high school building by the Hudson River. What he created in these hushed, hallowed places is music that could be called folk but that has running through it a ghostly gospel-like feel. Simone Felice is strikingly simple in its arrangements while extravagant in its emotional impact. Each track is rife with intricate imagery and captivating storytelling, not surprisingly, as Simone is an acclaimed wordsmith, published poet and novelist.
As with his prose, Felice conveys his often mournful tales of star-crossed lovers and beautiful losers with remarkable empathy, giving each a deeply personal feeling. “Courtney Love” is less recrimination than rumination on the loneliness in all of us that can lead to reckless, desperate behavior. Lead single “You & I Belong” (with friends from Mumford & Sons) finds Felice praising each new morning, an increasingly difficult chore in today’s pixilated world of seven billion distractions. The darkly exquisite “New York Times” presents a commanding lyrical onslaught about the dire state of the front page news – The track can be downloaded free Here
The album is available for pre-order now via the Reveal Records website and comes in two unique packages for LP and CD plus handmade, signed poetry print, both including instant downloads of the album’s first song “Hey Bobby Ray”, a stunning choral track about abuse and retribution featuring The Felice Brothers and a girls’ choir from Simone’s hometown, the Catskill High School Trebleaires. For more information please visit www.revealrecords.co.uk
1. Hey Bobby Ray
2. You & I Belong
3. New York Times
4. Courtney Love
5. Stormy-Eyed Sarah
7. Dawn Brady’s Song
8. Gimme All You Got
9. Sharon Tate
10. Splendor in the Grass
To celebrate the release of his self-titled debut, Felice will be appearing at Bush Hall in London on April 27th, 2012. Tickets are available now here.